Some people just bleed in silence

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Saturday, July 26, 2014

PARENTS are not perfect. We never said we were! From the time husband and wife vowed to love one another in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, their intentions to start on the right track was there.

The majority of us who got married tried our best to give our children the best of what we believed we had. If our best was not good enough, it was not for want of trying. We made do with what we had. During difficult times, especially for large families, some children could not get the things they desired.

Many of the heads of the families had to work overtime to earn a little extra, especially when tuition time came around. There were times when mothers just pretended to have eaten so the children could have more portions of food on their plates.


Parents often went without new shoes for ages or new clothes for that matter. Dad’s pair of trousers had to be dyed often when they got faded. Mothers wore cast offs from relatives without complaint.

Some children even up to maturity have resented the fact that there were many things lacking in their growing up years. What they do not remember is that dad and mom were so busy just trying to stretch their income to suit the family’s needs in order to survive.

Let’s look at the parents who opted to venture into the sari-sari store business. They usually woke up at early dawn to go to Carbon Market to look for and buy items that would give a bigger profit. They would come home wet with perspiration, with muddy feet as they sloshed their way in the muddy sections of the market.

Some of our father went into construction work carrying cement bags and sacks of sand up and down a long flight of stairs just to be able to feed us and send us to school. How come what some of us only remember today are the fights between mom and dad over the scarcity of money?

Some of our moms were teachers. They worked late at school, finishing checking assignments and working on their lesson plans. They even accepted tutorials for a fee and stayed up late at night to prepare the necessary test questions for a quiz. It must have been difficult for them to wake up each morning after a heavy work day and to start the working cycle again for the succeeding days. We just took them for granted didn’t we?

A dressmaker I once knew worked from early morning to sundown. I commented on her hard life style. She answered with a sheepish smile, “My children are now going to school!” I wonder if her children noticed the quilts which she made and sold, using the small scrap cloth that her customers left. She must have made the quilts when she could have used the time to rest her aching back.

Parents have feet of clay. That fact we cannot deny. One fact we also cannot deny is that those feet of clay have traveled far and wide just to eke a living for their children. No parent will deliberately make the lives of their children miserable. There are exceptions to this fact. However, the majority of parents love their children even to the point of exhaustion.

My own mother died in 1974. Up to this day, I still remember the values she instilled in us. I still miss her so much. I remember her wrapping her arms around us with love.

Today, many of our young ones speak of issues or traumas when they were growing up. The adult children see, criticize and speak bluntly of their parent’s weaknesses and failings. Identifying our failures to our face can be painful and we do hurt. To prevent pain, perhaps grown-up children should remember Shylock the Jew in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Shylock cried out in pain, “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

Parents will never be perfect! One thing certain though is that unlike Shylock, they will not cry out their pain. They will just bleed in silence and forever keep their lips sealed about the thousand and one sacrifices they did make in the past. Can we treat them with kindness?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 27, 2014.


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